Hong Kong JPEX scandal: who are the suspects arrested so far and how are they tied to cryptocurrency platform?

The ringleaders of Hong Kong’s largest alleged financial fraud are believed to be on the run, while the 11 suspects questioned by local police so far are unlikely to be key players in the mushrooming scandal, the Post has learned.

As investigators continued to hunt for clues in the HK$1.4 billion (US$178 milion) case that has stunned the city, officers were focusing on determining just how much the suspects knew about the operations of the JPEX cryptocurrency platform before the allegations surfaced, a source said.

Police were also trying to gather information about what ties some of the suspects might have had with the over-the-counter virtual asset money changers, the insider added.

Evidence seized in the investigation into the suspected fraud. Photo: Sam Tsang

As of Friday, police had received 2,265 complaints from victims, and the number of people arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud stood at 11.

Among those taken into custody were former barrister-turned-insurance executive-turned social media influencer Joseph Lam Chok, 33, and YouTubers Chan Wing-yee, 36, and Chu Ka-fai, 31.

In a press conference held in his plush Mid-Levels home on Friday, Lam sought to distanced himself from JPEX, saying he was no longer involved in its business activities and had stopped renting a nearly 2,900 sq ft office in Central for his business “Lam Chok Coin Speculation”.

Officer also arrested Tsang Cho-shun, 22, the corporate secretary of what was known as the JPEX Technical Support Company and later renamed Web 3.0 Technical Support.

Joseph Lam holds a press briefing at his home in the Mid-Levels on Friday. Photo: Jelly Tse

Police also detained two other individuals related to Web 3.0 Technical Support: Jason Chan Hiu-ho, 22, the new company’s corporate secretary, and Tang Lap-shun, a 26-year-old employee.

Another source said the company’s sole director, Kwok Ho-lun, was among those sought by police, while adding he might have been recruited to establish the firm.

According to the Companies Registry, Kwok is also the director of CoinLedge Limited and Crypto Wesearch Media Limited. CoinLedge, which authorities are striking off the registry, is a blockchain media company that regularly promoted JPEX in the past.

YouTuber Chan Wing-yee is among the suspects arrested by police this week. Photo: YouTube

Another suspect was Wong Ho-pong, director of the Apestaurant Group, which runs the Bored Garden restaurant, a burger shop on Wellington Street in Central which also offered over-the-counter virtual asset money changing service.

Wong is also the director of To The Moon Group, which uses the same registered office as his other company.

Hong Kong police seek Interpol help to freeze JPEX’s ‘unusual’ outflow of crypto

YouTuber Chu is the director of KT Club, whose company secretary was The Acid Limited, also CoinLedge’s company secretary until early last year.

On Thursday, police also questioned actor and singer Julian Cheung Chi-lam and Malaysian actress Jacqueline Ch’ng Se Min. The two celebrities earlier filmed promotional videos for JPEX. The pair were not arrested.

Suspect Chu Ka-fai, is the director of KT Club, whose company secretary was The Acid Limited, also CoinLedge’s company secretary until early last year. Photo: YouTube

Feng Shui master and TV host Clement Chan Ting-bong, who was said to have promoted JPEX in the past, was also questioned by police on Friday.

Additionally, a Post check earlier found that a company registered in Australia under “JP-EX Crypto Asset Platform Pty Ltd” applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for voluntary deregistration on Tuesday, a day after Hong Kong police arrested the first eight people in connection with the JPEX case.

According to the commission’s information, the company registered in 2020 had assets worth less than A$1,000 (US$647) and its current director was Chen Jieyi, 32, born in Guangdong province.

Hong Kong influencer Joseph Lam stops renting crypto shop amid JPEX investigation

The company was registered by the previous director, a 28-year-old born in Hong Kong named Cheung Sze-ki, before he handed the firm over to Chen in 2021.

Police said the investigation was continuing and further arrests were possible. The force would also seek help from Interpol after identifying transfers of digital coins connected to the platform, a source said.

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